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Hospital exec runs all the way from Bartlesville to Tulsa to honor COVID-19 nurses

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 38.2%. 2 min read.

'What better way to honor the hard work they do on their feet all day?' asks the Ascension St. John official.

Medals4Mettle metals wait to be presented to St. John health care workers to honor their roles in the pandemic on January 11, 2021 at Ascension St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK.

Ascension St. John Director of Performance Improvement, Wyatt Hockmeyer, makes joke after making a 46 miles run from the the Ascension health center in Bartlesville to Tulsa on January 11, 2021 at Ascension St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK.

Mary Alice Ahlgren and Karl Ahlgren give Ascension St John Physician Practice Operations Director, Melissa Kelly, center, award her medal from Medals4Mettle to honor her role in the pandemic on January 11, 2021 at Ascension St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, OK.

One nurse, leaning over to whisper to another nurse in the parking lot at Tulsa's Ascension St. John Medical Center, noted that Wyatt Hockmeyer didn’t even seem out of breath. “He doesn’t look like he ran around the block,” she said, “nevermind 46 miles. ”Ascension St. John’s director of performance improvement, Hockmeyer started Wednesday morning at Ascension Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville and ended Wednesday evening at the Tulsa hospital, taking 10 hours to run the entire distance. “It was symbolic,” Hockmeyer told the Tulsa World after he finally came to a stop.

What better way to honor the hard work they do on their feet all day?”Hockmeyer handed out a total of 85 medals, first in Bartlesville and then in Tulsa, to health care workers who have been on the front lines against COVID-19. Last March, when the virus first hit Tulsa, officials warned local hospitals that the fight would be “a marathon, not a sprint,” said Mike McBride, Ascension St. John’s regional president and COO. “Well, we’ve had to adapt that language,” McBride said.

But they spend years training and conditioning themselves to meet the challenge. “And so do they,” McBride said, pointing at the hospital workers who were lining up to receive the medals. St. John has turned floor Nine East into an all-COVID ward, with 28 beds that have stayed full day after day, week after week, month after month.

They were restrung with M4M lanyards to “recognize individuals who are running a unique and difficult race. ”Endurance athletes often have crowds cheering them on, said Karl Ahlgren, Medals4Mettle’s Tulsa chapter coordinator. “You may not feel it right now,” Ahlgren told the crowd of health care workers, “but I want you to know there are a lot of people cheering you on. ”COVID-19: Quarantine and isolation 101

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